Playground of Life: Jellyfish Pavilion Image


Life dances, sings and unfolds. STEAM: A journey
in search of excitement!

The thematic project for Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan that I am in charge of is "Invigorating Lives."

The theme of the project is "to create a place for co-creation where people can experience the joy and pleasure of living and enhance their lives together through playing, learning, sports, and art.”

Based on this, the “Invigorating Lives” thematic project will be launched before the Expo with a variety of activities and events aimed at democratizing creativity for all people and all things.

The signature pavilion of the “Invigorating Lives” thematic project is the Playground of Life: Jellyfish Pavilion.

The motif of jellyfish was conceived during a series of hot pot meetings held at Tetsuo Kobori Architects from 2020 to 2021, loosely organized by Sachiko Nakajima and Tetsuo Kobori, together with a diverse group of people.

These hot pot meetings brought together a diverse array of people, including artists, mathematicians, educators, architects, and others, and they became a venue where everyone could freely discuss questions such as “What is the Expo?”, “Why now?”, “What does it mean to invigorate lives?”, and “What is life and creativity?’

At one point, the discussion turned to topic of what is important for life and creativity, and we decided it was “flowing play.”

To spark creativity, it is important to play not in a routine way, but in an “flowing” way, like playing in a sandbox or in the forest. In other words, to start with a blank slate.

As for life, it is actually important that there are times when we are scatterbrained or don’t feel like moving. Diversity is the power that makes life more resilient to sudden disasters.

So, we wanted to provide a space for flowing play and a building that felt alive, where each person who entered could unleash their creative potential. We wanted a concept that embodied transparency, because we believe that what is important are those things that sometimes cannot be explained in words (that is, things you can sense with the five senses or feel with the body). From this, the motif of “jellyfish” suddenly emerged.

Later, we all went to see the Tree of Life at the Tower of the Sun, and to our surprise (nobody knew it), there was a large jellyfish and a polyp, which is a baby jellyfish on the seafloor.

Jellyfish are a symbol of creativity and life within us all, a symbol of the sometimes unexplainable. In the center of the Jellyfish Pavilion is the towering Tree of Creation.

The Jellyfish Pavilion abundantly features STEAM (creative, practical, and cross-curricular learning, representing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, among others. The excitement of a scientist, artist or inventor-like way of life)! We are all working diligently to create this pavilion in the hope that through play that stimulate the five senses, it will inspire people to take a step forward.

It is also a place that symbolizes the journey of the Playful STEAM Revolution (that is, the democratization of creativity).

The "Invigorating Lives" thematic project will use the opportunity of the Expo to promote intermingling and to connect the world through a variety of learning, play, creation, and living revolutions (the Future Earth School concept for everyone ages 0 to 120).

The Jellyfish Pavilion, which symbolizes creativity and life, will be built by Nakajima, the architectural design office of "co-creation" architect Tetsuo Kobori, Daiwa House Industry, Fujita, Tom Architects, and others, as well as Dai Nippon Printing, Tobu Top Tours, Mizuno, Hikari no Kuni, Lynet Japan Recycle, Ricoh, Ritsumeikan, No-side (Hitotsunagi Cafe), the World Yuru Sports Association, Dialogue Japan Society, Millième, Couture Digital, Happoen, everyone involved in the Future Earth School, various musicians, mathematicians, folklorists, teachers, children, housewives, grandmas and grandpas... and many other so-called “jellyfish friends.” (Construction will start on October 1, 2023 in Yumeshima.)

All of us "jellyfish" look forward to meeting you somewhere along your journey or at the Jellyfish Pavilion!

Sachiko Nakajima

“Invigorating Lives” Thematic Project
Expo 2025, Osaka, Kansai, Japan

Playground of Life: Jellyfish Pavilion Promotion Movie


In the Jellyfish Pavilion, we value non-verbal experiences such as the five senses (especially hearing, touch, and smell) and physicality as well as the flowing play of each and every encounter. In the center of the pavilion stands the Tree of Creation, a symbol of creativity, and along with flowing play centered on STEAM, there are also opportunities for co-creation and collaboration where everyone creates together by leaving messages on strips of paper to generate what we call “Co-Kurage.” Here, a sense of vitality, places for introspection, and a festival-like atmosphere all coexist.

It is also a symbolic place for the democratization of creativity and the Future Earth School concept of connecting the world through the joy of creation.

The Jellyfish Pavilion is largely divided into the Play Mountain, a playground for the senses (centering on the Tree of Creation) on the second floor, and a place to sharpen your sense of living and a place for the Jellyfish Festival on the first floor. The process of nurturing your own life by taking one step at a time is similar to walking the path to a tea ceremony room.

The Jellyfish Festival stage is a trinity of live music, various festivals from around the world (i.e., performing folk arts), and participants, all coming together to create a once-in-a-lifetime festival.

*The reception room was actually created based on the concept of a tea ceremony room.

In the Jellyfish Pavilion, co-creation and collaboration with various worlds such as the Future Earth School will be set up, and the joy of making things will overflow. The Playground of Life: Jellyfish Pavilion is a place where technology sometimes becomes magic and sparks creativity, and where music and dance can spring forth at any time.

The Jellyfish Pavilion is also an inclusive place and an opportunity for a diverse group of people, including those with visual impairments, those with hearing impairments, those in wheelchairs, those with illnesses, grandparents, babies, etc., to share the joy of creation together, and, acting as human “mixing sticks,” to generate intermingled relationships.

Let’s go on an exciting journey together (to democratize creativity)!


Thematic Project Producer “Invigorating Lives” Playground of Life:
Jellyfish Pavilion

Sachiko Nakajima

All people and all things have an irreplaceable, diverse, and explosive creativity.

During her high school years, Nakajima met math lovers and diverse cultures from all over the world in India and Argentina during the International Mathematical Olympiad, which transformed her philosophy of life. While studying mathematics at the University of Tokyo, she encountered jazz and other music and decided to switch paths to focus on music. In 2017, she founded steAm, Inc. and has been serving on various national and local government educational reform committees and projects.

Currently, while spending her life exploring music, mathematics, education, media art, and management, Nakajima aims to realize a society and culture where creation and the joy of living are open to everyone (democratization of creativity), and to create a playful and inclusive world. She launched the Future Earth School, which considers the entire planet as a place for the young at heart aged 0-120 to learn and play, and in 2022, she established a general incorporated association called steAm BAND with Hiroshi Suzuki as its executive chairman.

For this Expo, Nakajima emphasizes the importance of “the concentration of true feelings” and “the intermixing the various relationships in society. People with visual impairments, people with hearing impairments, and wheelchair users have also made significant contributions to the construction of the Jellyfish Pavilion.

She also leads Kurage Band Vida: Concerto of Five Senses, a group of musicians who play various instruments and enjoy the STEAM-like participatory experience through the five senses and who are deeply interested in festivals and performing folk arts from around the world.

Thematic Project Producer “Invigorating Lives” Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan

Sachiko Nakajima

Jazz pianist (composer), mathematics researcher, STEAM educator

CEO of steAm, Inc., Representative Director of steAm BAND (General Incorporated Association)

Born in Osaka in 1979. STEM Girls Ambassador, Cabinet Office.

Gold medalist in the International Mathematical Olympiad. MFA in ITP (Media Arts) from the School of the Arts, New York University

She first encountered jazz while majoring in mathematics at the School of Science at the University of Tokyo, after which she moved on to music (piano). Alongside her pursuit of music and mathematics, she founded steAm Inc. and steAm BAND, a general incorporated association, to promote STEAM education centered on her many likes.

She has been involved in many national and municipal committees and demonstration projects related to educational reforms, including for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Central Council for Education, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Council for Future Classrooms and Industrial Structure, CSTI in the Cabinet Office, and the Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Cultural Economy Subcommittee.

She is also involved in interdisciplinary research on mathematics and art at the Graduate School of Mathematical Sciences of the University of Tokyo and at the Meiji Institute for Advanced Mathematical Sciences (MIMS) at Meiji University.




The “Invigorating Lives” thematic project (AKA the Kurage Project {/coo-rah-gae/}) is a project that aims to “democratize creativity” in society and culture through a variety of activities with a diverse group of the young at heart aged 0-120

In creating the logo for the Kurage Project, which symbolizes our activities and ideas, we did not hire a single, specific artist or designer; rather, we began to think about whether we could create it via a form of participatory design, in which the logo can be found in each and every encounter, improvised, accidental, and emergent, as each person lives, meets, and feels each other’s presence, much like the Manyoshu, an ancient anthology of poems by unknown authors.

Therefore, on January 25, 2023, a diverse team gathered at the Hitotsunagi Cafe, a community space in Higashiosaka City (operated by the No-side, a welfare service company for people with disabilities) to engage in a discussion from various perspectives while viewing a model of the Jellyfish Pavilion in the morning, followed by an impromptu live painting session in the afternoon.

In the afternoon, a diverse group of people gathered, including people with visual impairments, people with hearing impairments, wheelchair users, people from various industries (our sponsors and collaborators), musicians, teachers, artists, children, seniors, researchers, and more. Along with improvised music by a blind pianist and the Kurage Band, led by Nakajima and her friends, everyone ended up covered in and played a concerto that tapped into all five senses.

Even those members who could not come due to snow or for other reasons were able to enjoy the event online.

Invigorating Lives
Eight colors of
the Jellyfish (Kurage) Project logo

The logo features the following eight colors. In Japan, the number “8” has been considered auspicious as a sacred number since ancient times. It is used in several compound words with meanings like “every direction”, “the entire world,” “all”, and “many.” It symbolizes the project’s aim to realize a creative and inclusive society where “the young at heart from ages 0 to 120” around the world can coexist.

  • Azalea Excitement and fun
  • Yellowish-green Possibility
  • Chrysanthemum Heart of a child
  • Scarlet Life
  • Green Growth
  • Sky blue Creativity
  • Indigo blue Inquiry
  • Orange Communication